(updated with Ian’s commentary)
Pack 1 pick 1:
- Trek: Good choice. When I was first compiling the data for this, I had this batch reversed and Lotus was the 15th pick. I knew that was wrong, because if Lotus was ever a 15th pick we are all doing this wrong.
- Ian:Black lotus … I gather that’s pretty powerful.
Pack 1 pick 2:
- Trek: So this will take a moment. I listen to a podcast called Limited Resources, where they talk about not being ROTty. Results-oriented-thinking. Meaning, there’s enough variance and randomness in Magic, that just because you didn’t win, doesn’t mean you made the wrong play.
The best sway to sum it up is this: You offer me a bet. We roll a D20, and if it hits 1, I pay you $20. On everything else, you pay me $5. I agree and we roll a 1. Aside from having Chris’ luck at dice rolls in Axis and Allies, we are naturally tempted to feel like we made a wrong choice, and should have taken the other end of the bet instead. That’s still factually wrong. The odds are still 1/20.
I’m going to set that aside for a moment. Frank was given a choice that included Ancestral Recall. His previous pick was Black Lotus, one of the top 10 strongest cards in magic. Here is another of the top 10. The person who eventually picked it won the draft.
I can only assume Frank either timed out on his pick, or since this isn’t Magic Online, that Frank has an allergy to the color Blue.
- Ian: I’d probably have taken Master Biomancer … without being very happy about it.
OK, I just have to remember that Ancestral Recall is a Good Thing. I don’t yet intuitively recognize card advantage and its benefits ..
Pack 1 pick 3:
- Trek: A strong and solid choice. I don’t love going Gold or CC in my early picks, but with this pack, they would all be CC.
- Ian: No real commit to color, yet. Baby planes walkers are cool, and Lilliana looks pretty easy to flip. Akroma’s Memorial buffs the hell out of everything .. and I’ve got Black lotus so I might be able to play it as early as turn 4. I’ll probably take the memorial, and wish I’d read Lilliana’s planes walker description more carefully …
Pack 1 pick 4:
- Trek: Shriekmaw or Doom Blade are my other possibilities here. That said, I think FS is a strong choice.
- Ian” Avenger of Zendikar. Probably just out of familiarity. Maybe shriek maw?
Number of times’s I’ve gotten beat by Doomblade, I should have considered that, too.
On re-reading I get what FS does for you … kind of a ramp to a big stick.
Pack 1 pick 5:
- Trek: Did he hit the field, and how was he? He seems very strong. Best competition here was probably Animate Dead.
- Ian: Lots of black and green left in this pack…
Gonna rule out Mazirek since I don’t have any sacrificers…
Garruk or Oracle, probably leaning towards Oracle.
OK, Frank took Mazirek, got to remember to look for things that can force sacrifices
Pack 1 pick 6:
- Trek: Strong choice. Tutor, decent body. Supports the sacrifice deck.
- Ian: Too bad Dread Summons doesn’t say “sacrifice,” as that’d work nicely with Mazirek. If I were putting stuff into graveyards I might wish for Crucible of Worlds.
Sidisi says “sacrifice,” tho. I’ll take that, and need to remember to look for something that makes creatures to sac.
Pack 1 pick 7:
- Trek; Can’t argue with the best Uncommon creature ever printed.
- Ian: I know he took Vampire Nighthawk because he cast it 5 times in one game.
Don’t see anything I’d take over it.
Pack 1 pick 8:
- Trek: And here the reanimation deck starts coming together.
- Ian: I guess with the previous 3 picks it has to be Unburial Rites
Pack 1 pick 9:
- Trek: I fully support both ramping and fixing. However… if you were considering reanimator, then Oona’s Prowler is probably the right choice. It’s purpose in cube is an early discard outlet to put your big dudes in the yard.
- Ian: Ruinous Path
Ohhhhh! I totally see why Oona’s would be good.
Pack 1 pick 10:
- Trek: Same as last pick. (and remember, this land isn’t Really Llanowar Wastes, but is the BG tango land.) But here Pack Rat is also an insane creature that takes over games AND a discard outlet.
- Ian: Llanowar Wastes
Pack 1 pick 11:
- Ian: Akroma’s Memorial is still there. I take it now
Pack 1 pick 12:
- Ian: Doom Blade still there? Gimme!
Pack 1 pick 13:
- Ian: Heeeey, Flesh Carver might work with the sacrifice-reanimate deal we got going on?
Pack 1 pick 14:
- Ian: Mayor’s the one on color.
Pack 1 pick 15:
- Ian:Tusk guard Captain is also on color.
Pack 1 Summary:
- Black Lotus
- Thrun, the Last Troll
- Liliana, Heretical Healer
- Fauna Shaman
- Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest
- Sidisi, Undead Vizier
- Vampire Nighthawk
- Unburial Rites
- Llanowar wastes
- Akroma’s Memorial
- Doom Blade
- Mayor of Avabruck
- Tuskguard Captain
Pack 2 pick 1:
- Trek: Elesh isn’t your colors, but if you’re doing reanimator, all colors are your colors. Living Death is the only thing that comes close.
- Ian: Carrion Feeder, Bloodspore Thrinax, or Living Death. Probably thinking too small but I’d go with Carrion Feeder.
OK, I’ll need the Elesh pick explained to me at some point.
Pack 2 pick 2:
- Ian:Entomb, I think. Though I need to think about why it’s an Instant and what that means for how to play it.
Pack 2 pick 3:
- Trek: Board wipes are good. I would have gone Putird Imp since he’s a discard outlet, but at this point there’s a decent chance he will wheel. (Tempted to peek and see if he does.)
- Ian: Putrid Imp, I think. Puts things in the graveyard, benefits from a fat graveyard. Tho Arachnogenesis would be a way to make things to sacrifice. Or maybe as a late game bailout.
Pack 2 pick 4:
- Trek: On color, great reanimation target, and 6 is still possible to get out naturally. Great choice.
- Ian: Grave Titan. It was hard to even look at the rest of the pack …
Pack 2 pick 5:
- Trek: Was she as insane as she seems? I remember overhearing her bringing back vampire Nighthawk each turn.
- Meren or Fleshbag … depends on if I still want to put things in the graveyard, or get them back out. Meren, I think.
Ohhhhh, THAT’s how I had to keep killing Nighthawk. Ok, yeah, good pick.
Pack 2 pick 6:
- Trek: So far there is a theme. I agree with your picks except for when you pass the discard outlets, like Lotleth Troll.
- Ian: Xathrid Necromancer or Woodland Cemetery. I’m going with the necromancer.
Can’t speak for Frank, but in *my* case, I think it’s that I’m devaluing discard because I think I’m looking for sacrifice
Pack 2 pick 7:
- Ian: Exhume or Crypt Ghast. Think i go with CG, he kind of pays for his effect. Maybe a failure to commit to reanimator on my part.
Pack 2 pick 8:
- Trek: I think Coffin Queen (another reanimator) or Godless Shrine (white mana for the Unburial Rites.)
- Ian:Marath! Kidding. Coffin queen.
OK, yeah, maybe the Godless Shrine
Pack 2 pick 9:
- Ian: Living Death and Carrion Feeder both came back. I wanted Carrion Feeder last time so I’m gonna pretend I have it and get Living Death this time.
Pack 2 pick 10:
- Ian: Genesis Hydra. It’s on color even if it doesn’t match the theme.
Pack 2 pick 11:
- Ian: Perilous Myr I guess
Pack 2 pick 12:
- Trek: I know at least once, I’ve done a bad RB reanimator, using wheel to discard creatures and Hope//Pray to draw a reanimate with it. I don’t say this as advising to do it.
- Ian: Badlands
Pack 2 pick 13:
- Ian: Arc bound worker
Pack 2 pick 14:
- Trek: Yay, it wheeled! I wonder who got the Imp.
- IAN: The troll came back. TrolLOLOL
Pack 2 pick 15:
- Ian: Crypt Ghast. Didn’t I already pick this?
Observation after 2 packs: A fair number of the picks that I wanted that Frank didn’t take actually came back around. I think this means Frank is paying a deep and subtle game.
Pack 2 Summary:
- Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- Black Sun’s Zenith
- Grave Titan
- Meren of Clan Nel Toth
- Xathrid Necromancer
- Blade Splicer
- Living Death
- Genesis Hydra
- Perilous Myr
- Wheel of Fortune
- Mirror Entity
- Lotleth Troll
- Crypt Ghast
Pack 3 pick 1:
- Trek: I admit, not a great pack for you.
- Ian: What the … ? Spike Cannibal or Exploration, maybe? I’ll go with Exploration.
- Trek: On reflection, I think mana Crypt so you can power out something instead of reanimating it?
Pack 3 pick 2:
- Trek: If I was going reanimator, I think I would have tried for Bane of Balaged. Stick that on turn 2 and if opponent doesnt have removal it’s game.
- Ian: Priest of the Blood Rite, I guess. And hope that I’ve got a sacrifice trigger out to get rid of him. And reanimate him. And get rid of him.
I can see Bane, as well. Especially since we potentially have Black Lotus to ramp.
Pack 3 pick 3:
- Ian: Interesting options here. I can see Coalition Relic, Chainer’s Edict, or Smothering Abomination. I’ll go with Smothering Abomination.
- Trek: I missed Smothering when loking earlier. Would totally fit your deck.
Pack 3 pick 4:
- Ian: I’m tempted by Whip, but I feel like exiling stuff from my graveyard (with admittedly a productive stop on the battlefield as it goes) doesn’t necessarily help me. I’m going with either Bloodflow Connie or Lotus Bloom.
- Trek: Depends on what you whip back. And the lifelink can be very relevant.
Pack 3 pick 5:
- Trek: Why not Vigor Mortis?
- Ian: Bloodghast all day long. He’s a target for sacrifices.
Because Vigor Mortis is a one shot, and Bloodghast can enable multiple sac effects.
Pack 3 pick 6:
- Ian: Vampire Hexmage. I may be fixating excessively on the sacrifice.
Pack 3 pick 7:
- Ian:Wretched Confluence or Drana. Probably Confluence
Pack 3 pick 8:
- Ian:Damnation, tho I’m tempted by Dark Confidant
Pack 3 pick 9:
- Ian: Spike Cannibal
Pack 3 pick 10:
- Ian: Yep, I still want Priest of the Blood Rite
Sunpetal Grove will help, tho, with the White we’ve been drawing.
Pack 3 pick 11:
- Ian: Temple Garden
Pack 3 pick 12:
- Ian: I still want Bloodflow Connoisseur … the fact that it’s still here proves Frank is smarter than I am.
Pack 3 pick 13:
- Trek: Why not Vigor Mortis? “Because I’m pretty sure that I’ve cornered the market on reanimation and it will wheel.”
- Ian: Yes, Vigor Mortis now. And see Trek’s comment.
Pack 3 pick 14:
- Ian: Hunt the Weak.
Pack 3 pick 15:
- Ian: Sacred Foundry
Pack 3 Summary:
- Thundermaw Hellkite
- Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
- Coalition Relic
- Whip of Erebos
- Vampire Hexmage
- Evolutionary Leap
- Crypt Ghast
- Treasury Thrull
- Sunpetal Grove
- Temple Garden
- Imperial Recruiter
- Vigor Mortis
- Hunt the Weak
- Sacred Foundry
- Player 1 (Chris H)’s Draft
- Player 3 (Justin)’s Draft (Coming soon)
- Frank’s Deck (Coming Soon)